NEW PRIVATE SOCIAL NETWORK FOR NONPROFITS: A VIABLE OPTION FOR SOME


By James D’Ambrosio

While social networking has become the norm — many organizations have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter — some nonprofits may not be comfortable with these platforms or prefer not to share sensitive information publicly. While most sites do have settings controls, they can be difficult to set up exactly as you would like. Recently I learned about a new private social network for nonprofits that might appeal to some agencies concerned about the downside of social media.

INTRODUCING ALLAWARE

AllAware is a free mobile app and web-based private social network for nonprofits introduced earlier this year by Linxter, a Florida-based company providing cloud and mobile technology solutions. The app is designed to help agencies boost donations, develop stronger ties among constituents (staff, supporters and volunteers) share news, and interact with members in a private, secure forum. Accessed on the Web at www.allaware.com, on Windows Phones, Android smartphones and tablets, no coding or technical skills are needed. An iPhone version is scheduled to be released this month. Since roll out in February, allAware is being used by 35 nonprofits in 18 states. 

Most aspects of allAware web and mobile apps are free — creating user and organization accounts, and using the Services, Events, Meetings, News, Chats, Contacts, and Membership modules. However, there’s a $10 monthly fee for activating the mobile donations capability, and text-messaging credits can be purchased through the Web app (200 messages cost $5.00). Members enter credit card information once and can then make one-click donations. Allaware can be set up to receive donations anonymously or by name, including the ability to attach a message or emoticon along with a donation.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES & BENEFITS

The app allows members to RSVP for meetings, see current events, and can serve as a nonprofit’s news outlet or private chat room for supporters to exchange information. The privacy aspect can be useful to nonprofits who would rather keep some types of information within their organization or those strongly affiliated with it — birth and death announcements, serious illness of an employee, board member or major donor, problem with a major fund-raiser or special event, etc.

PERSPECTIVE ON PRIVACY AND SOCIAL MEDIA

As a communications professional, I’ve adopted social media out of necessity — its fundamentally transformed how public relations is practiced and how people communicate. If I’m not proficient, I’ll be left behind. At the same time, I believe some details of an organization’s inner workings were never meant to be public. So when I learned about this private social network, I was motivated to share it with others. At a time when so much is going digital at warp speed, there’s a need for a counterbalance. Click the link below to learn more about this new app and see if it makes sense for your agency.

TAKE TUTORIALS HERE: http://www.allaware.com/watch-learn

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QUESTIONS TO READERS:

What are your views on this topic? Would you consider using a private social network?
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